Stocks were slightly lower early Friday as
fourth quarter failed to light any fires.
Index futures recently showed the
trading 2 points below fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a half-point decline. The 10-year Treasury bond was unchanged in price to yield 4.58% -- 10 basis points below the two-year yield -- while the dollar was higher against the yen and lower against the euro.
Oil was pressing toward $60 a barrel as traders prepared for a cold blast in the Northeast, where most of the country's natural gas and heating oil is consumed. The March crude contract was up $1.05 to $59.91 a barrel, after adding 2% on Thursday.
Overseas markets were higher outside of Japan, where concerns about future interest-rate policy drove the Nikkei down 2% to 15,713 overnight. In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 5839 and Germany's Xetra DAX rose 0.2% to 4803. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2% to 15,476.
Dell's fourth-quarter earnings rose 52% from a year ago to $1.01 billion, or 43 cents a share, on a 13% rise in revenue to $15.18 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 41 cents a share on sales of $14.82 billion. For the first quarter, Dell pegged revenue at $14.2 billion to $14.6 billion. Analysts wanted $14.73 billion.
earned $98.1 million, or 53 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, roughly doubling the year-ago result. Sales rose 12% to $633.6 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 49 cents a share on sales of $625.3 million.
Nvidia gave first-quarter guidance that implies EPS of roughly 41 cents to 50 cents a share, or 50 cents to 59 cents a share, excluding options. Sales should be $652.6 million to $671.6 million. Analysts were expecting 45 cents a share on sales of $614.5 million.
To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action, click here
first-quarter earnings fell more than 50% to $12.6 million, or 5 cents a share, while adjusted earnings of 10 cents a share were a nickel ahead of estimates. Revenue of $170.1 million was also well ahead of views.
second-quarter profit rose 26% to $184.9 million, or $1.02 a share, while sales rose 15% to $742.7 million. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 95 cents a share on sales of $733 million. The company's 2006 guidance was slightly soft.
CEO Dick Parsons can claim a win in his efforts to fend off activist shareholder Carl Icahn. According to reports, Icahn has dropped a plan to propose a whole new slate of directors to Time Warner's board, and instead will seek to place five representatives with 14-member panel. Icahn's bankers declined to comment.